I was having one of those bummer kind of days. Trying a number of strategies to snap me out of it flopped. Fortunately, I finally turned to gratitude. As you are no doubt aware, so much has been written about the benefits of gratitude including several of my posts along the way. The bottom line is that gratitude works. It benefits us in innumerable ways. For today, however, I would just like to share this beautiful video. Trust me, it is worth 6 minutes of your time.
A Grateful Day
The narrator is Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Dominican monk. You can find several of his talks on gratitude and happiness on You Tube. One of my favorite quotes of his that has helped me a lot is, “We can’t be grateful for everything, but in a single moment we can be grateful for something.”
Comments are welcome.
I was skimming through some weekly newsletters from Angela Duckworth, a psychologist, author and professor at the University of Pennsylvania. This one caught my attention. It gave me pause to consider my interactions with others. Especially in terms of what kind of a listener I am. Do I fully listen? Do I allow the other person to fully express whatever is on their mind? When I ask a question, do I really want to hear their answer? I believe that for the most part the answers to those questions are yes. To be honest, there are times I have caught myself drifting. We all probably are a little guilty of that. My intent is to fully listen and look at each interaction as an opportunity to get better. Following is Angela’s article.
“It’s hard to know how someone feels unless you ask...and listen. In Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic, The Little Prince, there’s a scene where the prince is lying in the grass, weeping. He’s just come to the realization that the rose to whom he had been entirely devoted—whose beauty he assumed was unique in the universe—is just one of thousands of roses, each one like the next.
Then a fox comes by. “I’m feeling so sad,” the prince says to the fox. And the fox listens. He does not try to convince the prince that he should be happy. He does not run away. Before they part, the fox tells the prince:
“Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”
Don’t assume that the people in your life are fine. Don’t assume that what you see is all there is to know.
Do ask “How are you feeling?” and then—without judging, interrupting, or correcting—listen.”
Along with the major holidays and major days of recognition, each month has some weird and wacky celebratory days. Even though we are just about half way through June, I thought I would list some of the standouts of the month. I’m starting with June 3 as the first 2 days weren’t very exciting. In fact I am selecting my highlights of the month and not every day.
June 3 -National Doughnut Day
- Repeat Day (Did you say Repeat Day?)
June 4 – Old Maids Day
June 5 – World Environment Day (Necessary)
June 7 – National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
- VCR Day (Seriously?)
June 8 – Best Friends Day
June 9 – Donald Duck Day (Donald says, “Life is too short to be serious all the time, so if you can’t laugh at yourself then call me…I’ll laugh at you, for you.”)
June 15 – National Prune Day
- Smile Power
June 17 – Eat Your Vegetables Day (And I thought that was supposed to be every day. Oh Well.)
June 18 - International Panic Day (Yikes! What’s going to happen?)
- International Picnic Day (Forget panic. Let’s just picnic It should reduce the panic unless someone forgets the food.)
June 19 – World Sauntering Day
June 22 – World Eclair Day. (Yum yum)
- International Rain Forest Day (So important.)
June 23 – Let It Go Day
- National Pink Day (Huh?)
June 25 – National Onion Day (Don’t cry. It’s ok)
June 26 – Forgiveness Day (We ought to be open to this every day.)
June 29 - Hug Holiday (This might be the best one. We all need a hug now and then.)
“There is great suffering in the world. Our society is suffering. The planet is suffering. Families are suffering. And this is in addition to the personal suffering in our own lives. It’s important for us to be aware of this suffering and not turn away from it.
But it’s truly important to ground ourselves in the love and beauty of the world. Love and beauty are also real. They provide light in response to the darkness. It’s easy to see darkness from a distance, but we often have to look up close to see love and beauty. When we make love and beauty the foundation of our lives it nourishes our spirit and helps us cope with the suffering we encounter. When we are sucked into the great sadness of the world we become part of that sadness. So how do we resist all the sadness around us? We resist it by grounding our life in the love and beauty of the world.”
If you ground your life in love, you cultivate and celebrate love. You share your loving impulses with the world and you recognize them in others as well. It becomes one of your guiding themes that can keep your life grounded, as can the search for and appreciation of beauty.
These themes can keep us busy and keep us sane, even during crazy-making, heart-breaking times. They can keep us connected to other truths that are also real and important and that deserve our attention. We can inhabit a more robust world and access a broader pallet of color if we ground our lives in love and beauty.” From the Todo Institute by Greg and Linda Krech
Comments are welcome.